Those of you who know me, know that I have this horrible case of “the cobbler’s children have no shoes,” when it comes to Halloween; which is a shame, because it is probably my favorite set of annual festivities. Despite the favoritism, I can’t ever seem to get it together and actually make a specific, purpose-built Halloween costume; I often say that I will, but in the end, I always end up raiding my garb closet, and doing kooky hair and makeup. I think that there are several factors at work here, but one of them is definitely that I never manage to settle on something in enough time to execute it in the way I would want to. Another is that most of those awesome ideas, that I finally decide I like, would require more expense than I am honestly willing to throw at something that I am going to wear maybe 2 times and poorly lit parties, and then never want to wear another year, because it was too memorable to repeat. From that struggle, I inevitably wind through “sometime it doesn’t have to be perfect, it just needs to be DONE…” which is immediately followed by “I have lots of pieces that are DONE already, surely I can adapt some of those?” which ends in the afore mentioned garb + kooky hair + fantasy make-up = costume. Again.
I’ve even tried to go about this in other ways; just this week, Michael and I went to a couple of the Halloween stores and looked for costumes-in-bags, and came up with nothing. There were plenty of costumes, not many of which I liked at all, and the ones I didn’t hate got dismissed by the “I could do so much better, with not-that-much effort.” I have come to the conclusion that the costume in a bag industry doesn’t have much to offer me for two reasons: I am just round enough, and short enough, that gathered polyester anything just isn’t flattering to my figure; and, for the same reasons, all of those “sexy _________” mini-dress costumes cut me off at the worst possible hem height. Also, for some reason, I feel odd about going as a Viking woman, or an Elizabethan lady, or whatever other random period outfit, I may have/could throw together.
After some deep self evaluation, I have come to realize that the problem is simple; Desire to over achieve, because costuming is my craft + chronic procrastination and desire to be comfortable/cheap/done-with-this-already = existential costuming crisis, annually, and no later than October 15th. Once I accepted this somewhat unflattering truth, I asked myself which is more unimpressive, a simple but complete, and purpose built costume; or a mish-mash of clothing items and accessories, poorly tied together with fantastical styling? … Yeah, that simple costume is sounding better by the second.
As such, I have decided to make good on a decade-old threat, and go as a Oktoberfest bar maid, and Michael has agreed to wear lederhosen in support. In the spirit of simplicity, I am making a costume version of both of these things, much more “inspired by” than “reproduction of” the real thing.
So far I whacked out and fitted a bodice pattern for myself, drafted(sort of) a pattern for Sweetie’s lederhosen, dyed some stash twill for said hosen, picked out stash fabric for myself, and raided one of the “Grandma’s fabric” boxes, rendering an embroidered scarf that wants to become a pretty apron. If I can manage to remember, I will take some pictures of the bodice underlining before I hide it, as I tried some interesting stabilizing in there.
Tags: Costuming, dirndl, german, halloween, lederhosen, ocktoberfest, rant